How’s your French? Citadelle‘s new special edition is clearly inspired by just one of its 21 ingredients: cornichon pickles, which stretches the definition of a “botanical” considerably. There are 20 other ingredients in this oddball creation, but let’s focus on the namesake here: “The cornichons infused in Citadelle Original’s aromatic base come from Maison Marc, a Burgundy-based family business that grows its Cucumis sativus without insecticides, herbicides or preservatives, and picks each one by hand.”
It’s also worth noting that Citadelle Vive le Cornichon is the first product to be produced in the new Citadelle Gin Distillery, designed by Alexandre Gabriel himself and entirely constructed by the château’s in-house team. We’ll be visiting the new distillery in person in a matter of days, so stay tuned for more on that.
If you’re worried this gin tastes like pickle juice, rest easy: The cornichon appears on the nose mainly in the form of a light vinegary note, with notes of juniper, lemon peel, and a general grassiness all evident. Brisk and acidic, it’s engaging from the start. The palate follows suit with an immediately briny note — though here it definitely evokes a martini olive more than a pickled cucumber — following that up with bright, slightly sweet elements. The lemon here has a gentle lemonade character to it, complemented by notes of white pepper, (fresh) cucumber, and thyme. More lemon on the finish, then a cleansing spritz of white wine vinegar.
I have to say, I love the way it all comes together — much like a martini with the lightest amount of “dirty” to it — altogether clean and refreshing, just slightly evoking pickles throughout. Martini drinkers should snap this up by the case while it lasts.
A / $30 (700ml) / citadellegin.com